While Nicaragua's scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities are a leading draw for adventure seekers traveling to the country, there's another popular use of the water that draws travelers from all over the world to Nicaragua, and that's surfing.
Whether you're an expert surfer or someone that's never stepped on a surfboard before, there's wave conditions suitable for everyone in this sun-soaked country.
The consistency of Nicaragua's surfing swells mixed with its affordable cost of living is what puts this country on the map for surf lovers. The country's location and position create both the perfect warm water temperature and wind condition for surfable waves nearly every day of the year.
Whether you prefer reef breaks, point breaks, beach breaks or heaving outer-reef slabs, there's an area on the Nicaraguan coast that will provide just what you need.
While Nicaragua provides surfable conditions year-round, there are better times of the year for each type of surfer. You can divide these times into the wet season from May to November and the dry season from December to April.
Beginners will want to start during the dry season as you'll see less South Pacific swells. More seasoned surfers will want to hit the beaches during the wet season to get more constant and larger swells. It's also important to keep the tides in mind as Nicaraguan waves are heavily dependent on the tide. Seasoned surfers will want to avoid planning trips during times of a new or full moon.
School for Learning
As surfing in Nicaragua grows in popularity, increasingly more surf schools have surfaced on the beach. If you're new to surfing, consider taking a lesson at one of the surf schools at Playa Maderas.
Keep in mind that this location pulls in both beginners and experts alike and can get pretty crowded later in the afternoon, so arrive early to beat out the crowds. Several surf shops also rent equipment if you don't own a board or couldn't bring yours with you.
Nicaragua has a mixture of both private and public beaches where the waves are perfect for surfing. Keep in mind that some locations may require either hiring a boat to get to the beach or hiking into the beach location. There are six primary spots where surfers congregate, Playa Maderas adjacent to Lake Managua, the inner and outer reef of Popoyo, the private Playa Colorado, The Boom north of Lake Managua, LanceÂs Left and Panga Drops.
As with any location, check conditions before you head out to the beach for the day. While it may be tempting to ignore surf warnings to catch a good barrel, you dramatically increase your risks for injury, creating the need to seek out medical attention in a foreign country. So stay safe, and enjoy the incredible waves that surfing in Nicaragua can provide.